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SPI 800: Time Is Accelerating (And This Is How I Feel)

People know me for my online business advice, but I don’t often talk about what happens at home. That said, balancing work and family life is crucial for sustainable success as an entrepreneur.

For this milestone episode, I want to offer a glimpse at the Flynn household and my role as a father and husband. Like me, I know many in the Smart Passive Income Podcast audience are parents—I think you’ll resonate with what I share in today’s session!

Some of you might even remember the moment back in 2009 when my son Keoni was born. He’s now a high schooler, while my daughter Kailani is going into middle school. The mix of emotions I’m feeling is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’m excited to see my kids grow and flourish, but how have these years gone by so fast?

Tune in for my 800th episode as I explore the importance of slowing down, appreciating the time you have, and finding and creating special moments with your loved ones. Enjoy!

SPI 800: Time Is Accelerating (And This Is How I Feel)

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, if he was a Power Ranger, he’d be the green one, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Well, it happened. After fourteen years and so many days, it happened.

My son is now a high schooler. Whoo! And he literally just had his graduation, or we call it promotion, here at the school that he’s at, or he was at yesterday. And so I’ve had time to reflect on this, and my wife and I definitely had a lot of emotions yesterday. And as a couple who has been able to spend every moment with our kids through every milestone, this is definitely the one that is, it’s put a lot of things in perspective.

You know, we were there for his first steps. We were there for his first words. We were there for his first day of preschool and kindergarten, first grade, all the way now finishing eighth grade. And he’s been a part of our story, a part of my story at SPI. Many of you may remember a blog post from back in 2009 when he was born.

He’s been on the show a couple times back when he was much, much younger. Some of you might have even seen him on a live stream during the pandemic. He and I played Fortnite and some of you may have caught a glimpse of that on Twitch. We had a little channel that we started just so we can bond and do things together and then it turned into a bond over Pokemon and he kind of outgrew that rather quickly.

I obviously have not, but man I’m so proud of him. My wife and I both are. You know, this episode is less about business strategies and tactics and email this and adds that and SEO this and those things are important and will always change, but just like the people around us, they change and they grow and you got to learn how I don’t even know where this is going.

I’m just, it’s it’s a weird package of emotions right now. It’s excitement. I’m so excited for Keoni’s future. He struggled in sixth grade a lot with his grades and he ended up graduating eighth grade with straight A’s. He’s really excited about band and playing the trumpet and I played the trumpet when I was his age and I went on to play high school marching band and college marching band and even drum corps and on his own he’s expressed doing a lot of the same things.

And we’re really blessed that he’s been able to surround himself with a lot of amazing teachers who have guided him along the way, a lot of great friends who have supported him and it’s been, not always been perfect, not even close. April and I have not always been perfect, but we’re definitely grateful that we’ve been able to spend as much time with him as possible.

He’s at that age now where he’s now staying in his room quite a bit or speaking more with his friends than, than with us. He opens up to us when things are hard though, which is, we’re grateful for, and my wife and I are learning to adapt as he is now, you know, in his mid teens and is going into high school level, and his sister just graduated 5th grade as well, so she’s going into middle school.

It’s, it’s a big transition year for, for all of us in the Flynn family, for sure. And the one thing that is, true is that it has just gone by so fast. And I know that’s cliche to say, my gosh, where has the time gone? Where has the time gone? You know, it’s sprinkled with memories of trips and funny moments and, you know, the highs, the lows, all those sorts of things.

I remember some of the days being very long. During the pandemic, I remember we tried to get the kids to do P. E. at home. There was a YouTube channel called P. E. with Joe, and the kids were just not having it. Although that was a tough time because we, again, wanted him to move around and get some exercise in, but we couldn’t go out anywhere.

I would do anything to relive those moments again. It doesn’t really feel like time is slipping away or passing us by in a way where, you know, I’m not conscious about it not happening. I’m not detached to the events and the time and the things that are going by, but, man, they are going by fast. And so I’ve been learning as I’ve, personally grown older, I’m 41 going on 42, seeing my kids grow up.

And, you know, my son’s taller than my wife now and is going to surpass me. I’m almost positive. He’s very close. His voice is deeper, almost as deep as mine, if not more. We’re learning to cherish every single moment. And it’s hard now because we’re trying to find just little pockets of time where we can spend time all together.

Cause we know that’s not going to be forever. And we’re on the sort of opposite end of the halfway point. My wife and I had a discussion the other day about going on dates with our kids. Something that I learned from a number of other people who have had kids a lot older who have done it or wish they had done it.

And what that means is both my wife and I will go on dates with the kids in just more of a solo fashion. Or just with one of them at a time, just to give them some space. And, you know, I would go out on a date with my daughter and we’d do something she’d want to do. And then, you know, the next week I do the same thing, but with my son and do something with my son.

And my wife would do the same with both kids each. And I really am excited about that, you know, cause I know that because we’re spending less time together now that that will become more important that those little moments of time where, you know, the other sibling isn’t around, they can open up and express things in their own way, or at least have what they know will be a safe space for them.

Not just during those moments, but moments into the future when they go through tougher times in their lives, when they need some help, when they’re going through some stuff or the opposite, when maybe my wife and I are going through some stuff and we need some from them. It’s crazy, man. It’s so crazy how fast it goes.

My son turns 15 at the end of the year. He’ll be able to get his driver’s permit, which means next year he’ll be able to drive. It’s kind of interesting though, he’s not as anxious to drive as I remember being when I was a kid. I don’t think having a car seems, at least for Where we’re living, perhaps, quite as important as it once was.

Those are scary things to think about, right? The fact that he’ll be behind a wheel, that he’ll be responsible for the lives of everybody else on the road at the same time and, you know, have to make smart decisions and, you know, trying to lead by example with that, not having the phone in the car while driving, or, you know, not getting distracted and already starting to feed him some of the important points about driving.

There was something my dad said that has always stuck with me when it comes to driving. This idea that in order to stay safe, you have to drive like everybody else on the road is absolutely a nutcase. And that has saved me a few times. And I’m just so grateful that I had gotten laid off in 2008, because if it wasn’t for that, I’d still be in architecture and I’d be working late nights.

I’d be more stressed out. I’d probably take that out on the kids in anger or shortness or whatever it might be. We were looking through our photo album. Like on our phones, right? Going back to when Keoni started school and then we started scrolling back even more. And then that’s when his sister was born and scrolling back even more and seeing him just, just born.

I had no idea what I was doing. He was the first baby that I’d ever held. I was too afraid to hold anybody else’s babies. Some of my friends had babies and I was just too, I thought I was going to drop him, you know, and here I was brand new father, first time father, first time mother trying to figure it out.

Son was born a month early. We had no health insurance because I had gotten laid off. It was like so many good things and so many bad things at the same time. We made it work. We didn’t know how. We didn’t have a plan, per se. We just figured it out day by day. Remember when we, at Keoni, we had gotten some help from a lot of people.

My parents, her parents, friends who’ve had kids, saying, you should do it like this, you should do it like that, this is the way it’s supposed to be, this is how we did it, and it was all conflicting information, it felt like. So we just said, we’re just gonna do this on our own and figure it out. You know, we didn’t read all the books, watch all the shows to understand how to raise a child.

We just kind of made sure that she and I communicated the entire time and that has been so important. The reason I’m sharing all of this with you today is just, just to release. We’ve definitely worked hard. We’ve definitely have gone through a lot. We’ve gone through a lot of incredible successes and a lot of people know me for the business, but they don’t know necessarily know what happens at home.

And like in the business, there’s ups and downs at home, too. And my wife has been an incredible partner. And communication that we’ve had along the way has been key to making sure that we’re allowing our kids to have the best opportunities possible. We’re even at the point now where we’re talking about, what happens, do they go to college?

If they want to. If that makes sense. They have the opportunity to go to college, but we don’t want to force that on them. We want that to be a decision that they want to make, and whether they go to college or travel or, I don’t know, go back to school for something else, we know it’s just going to be different.

And it’s sad. We shed some tears last night when the kids were asleep, finally, after a big celebration day, and we had finally some time to decompress after the graduation and all that stuff. We had started talking about, well, what happens when the kids are gone? When they’re out of the house? We don’t need to be in the house that we’re in now.

We moved here for the school, for them, and it’s done its job. It’s doing its job. I mean, we’re not done yet. I mean, I know high school is coming up and that’s, I mean, I remember high school had some of the best times of my life in band and had some of the worst times of my life getting bullied. So I recognize that there’s still a lot of things that are going to happen, both good and bad for Keoni, probably, and that we want to make sure that we’re just there for them.

That they know that they can come to us to chat. And perhaps I’m recording this for them as well. Because I know in a few years Kai is going to be graduating into high school as well. Things are going to get busy. They’re going to have to learn how to manage their time and activities with responsibilities and schoolwork and education, as well as friendships and boyfriends, girlfriends, breakups, and a rush of memories have come back to me while talking about the kids recently on my time at School. 800 episodes later of the SPI podcast and I mean, if the timing is right, with maybe 52 episodes a year by the time we hit episode a thousand That’s perhaps when Keoni is graduating a couple hundred episodes later, four years. And that’s wild dude, that is so wild. Slow down see what’s around you and don’t let those moments go by without appreciating them Thank you all for being here on this journey with me and for allowing me just to share Just some thoughts top of mind on family and life and where things are at now I wanted to create this as a timestamp for, for where I’m at. I know my voice might sound kind of soft right now, but man, I’m so proud.

So freaking happy and so excited and satisfied. Love you all.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

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